Round-up of translation award news

This has been an exciting season, with book awards honoring translators all over the world. Let's look back at some of the winners who have done a great job exposing readers to new cultures thanks to translation.

PEN Center USA honors the most recent translation of Boccaccio's Decameron

A new Italian-to-English translation of The Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio and translated by Wayne A. Rebhorn, was selected among the four finalists, which included originals from Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. This literary award comes with a $1,000-cash prize.

More info: PEN Center USA, GalleyCat, and Translationista


German-to-Portuguese Translation Awarded by the National Library in Brazil

Brazilian author and translator Marcelo Backes received the National Library Foundation Award for Translation in Brazil for his German-to-Portuguese translation of “Michael Kohlhaas,” written by Heinrich von Kleist.

More info: O Globo


Translation of Javier Marías' novel into Italian wins Tomasi di Lampedusa Award

Los enamoramientos, written by Javier Marías in Spanish and translated into Italian as Gli Innamoramenti by Glauco Felici, received the Tomasi di Lampedusa Literary Award, which takes place every year

More info: ABC, Alfaguara, and Sicilia Informazioni


Impac Dublin award goes to Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez and his Translator Anne McLean

The Sound of Things Falling, a 'consummate literary thriller', takes €100,000 international prize for fiction. Vásquez was presented with a check for €75,000, with his translator winning €25,000. Eight novels in translation have taken the Impac since it was set up in 1996.

More info: IMPAC's Official AnnouncementThe Guardian, NPR


For the 1st time in its 24-year history, Arab writer wins Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Hassan Blasim, for his second short story collection The Iraqi Christ, translated by Jonathan Wright and published by Comma Press. 

More info: Independent Official Announcement, The Guardian, ArabLit


The Publishers’ Union of Turkey dedicated a special award to imprisoned translator Tonguç Ok. The 40-year-old has been in prison for 17 years after being convicted with an “aggravated” life sentence. His one-person cell has become his study and he translated 14 books from English into Kurdish and Turkish, in addition to writing stories in Kurdish magazine Tiroj.

More info: European Council of Literary Translators' Associations


The winner of Transatlantyk Prize for 2014 is Bill Johnston, prolifit translator of Polish literature into English, ambassador for Polish culture and language, and professor of comparative literature at Indiana University, where he directed the Polish Studies Center for many years.

More info: Book Institute